In the world of social media, messaging is optimized down to the granular, character level, and Twitter automation for lead generation can be optimized with equal focus. In the same way that social media managers have to decide when and when not to use a hashtag for exposure, lead generation marketers need to understand when hashtags bring them higher quality prospects than plain keywords.
Hashtags as Exposure
In a post on the SumAll blog, Kristi Hines explains how hashtags increase social media exposure. She lists 6 best practices when it comes to using hashtags:
- See what hashtags your competitors use.
- Use relevant trending topics.
- Click through to discover what other updates come up with a particular hashtag.
- Note the difference in hashtag usage across social networks.
- Don’t overdo it—too many hashtags take away from your link’s visibility.
- Monitor your reach—A/B testing applies to hashtags too!
Hashtags bring your content into an existing conversation, or if you have the influence, they can start the conversation. But just like a real-life conversation, relevancy is key. An improper hashtag is as bad as jumping into a panel at Inbound Conference and shouting, “I really like list buying.”
However, relevancy has other benefits as well, beyond increased exposure for broadcasting. From the marketing automation perspective, hashtags can help you refine your lead generation.
Hashtags as Keywords
With the amount of user data available through social media, an important step in Twitter automation is using that data to make the best real-time decisions. At Socedo, we recently launched a new search criteria self-optimization feature, focused on finding the right keywords to keep the leads coming. One element of this new strategy is that the platform will test and replace underperforming keywords with hashtags.
Hashtags are more refined than single words because they imply a specific use case and are often industry-related. “Events” are your weekend plans and stories in the news, while “#events” are tradeshows and conferences. Even “marketing” can be anyone talking about business, whereas someone using “#marketing” usually works in the field.
This comes back to some of our core principles about keywords:
- High Volume: A keyword has to be used often enough to find leads, usually at least a thousand or so times per week.
- Specific Use Case: The best keywords only have one use case. That’s to say, your audience is using the word the way you intended. “Lead generation” only has one meaning. “Lead” has several.
- Conversational: Unlike SEO, social media keywords are about what your leads would say in a conversation. Marketers go to a search engine to type “best landing page tools.” On Twitter, they type “Excited about our new product launch! #digitalmarketing.”
But hashtags aren’t necessarily better keywords, so it’s important to test for performance. For some businesses, “sales” will be a very valuable keyword, especially with specific bio requirements. However, for others, “#sales” will bring relevant results. The same 6 points that Kristi Hines suggests for using hashtags can be used to test hashtags for relevant lead generation keywords.